Ludwig’s angina is an infection of the floor of the mouth under the tongue. It is due to bacteria.
Submandibular space infection; Sublingual space infection
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Ludwig’s angina is a type of
This condition is uncommon in children.
The infected area swells quickly. This may block the airway or prevent you from swallowing saliva.
Confusion or other mental changes
- Neck swelling
- Redness of the neck
- Weakness, fatigue, excess tiredness
Other symptoms that may occur with this disease:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Speech that is unusual and sounds like the person has a “hot potato” in the mouth
Signs and tests
Your health care provider will do an exam of your neck and head to look for redness and swelling of the upper neck, under the chin.
The swelling may reach to the floor of the mouth. Your tongue may be swollen or out of place.
You may need a
If the swelling blocks the airway, you need to get emergency medical help right away. A breathing tube through your mouth or nose and into the lungs to restore breathing. You may need to have surgery called a
Antibiotics are given to fight the infection. They are usually given through a vein until symptoms go away. Antibiotics taken by mouth may be continued until tests show that the bacteria have gone away.
Dental treatment may be needed for tooth infections that cause Ludwig’s angina.
Surgery may be needed to drain fluids that are causing the swelling.
Ludwig’s angina can be life threatening. However, it can be cured with getting treatment to keep the airways open and taking antibiotic medicine.
- Airway blockage
- Generalized infection (
sepsis) Septic shock
Calling your health care provider
Breathing difficulty is an emergency situation. Go to the emergency room or call your local emergency number (such as 911) right away.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of your condition, or if symptoms do get better after treatment.
Visit the dentist for regular checkups.
Treat symptoms of mouth or tooth infection right away.